Jamaica is an island state located in the Caribbean Sea (90 miles south of Cuba). It is there that an endless number of places for lovers of diving and other water sports are concentrated.

Diving in Jamaica is a fascinating aquatic pastime, which is full of diverse destinations that allow you to find an underwater adventure for every taste and budget: from carefree walks on coral reefs to excursions to caves or wreck sites. Divers from around the world flock to this island to explore the fascinating and mysterious underwater world of seahorses, urchins, turtles, spinorhos, fugu and clownfish, green and spotted morays, barracudas, eagle rays, and other equally interesting sea creatures.

For lovers of outdoor activities Jamaica provides unique excursions to underwater attractions (they are accompanied by a guide).

The best places for diving in Jamaica

1.Middle Shoal Reef:

  1. Location: Port Royal.
  2. Available from: Beaches Ocho Rios, Sandals Ochi, Sandals Royal Plantation, Beaches Negril,Sandals Negril.
  3. Dive level: beginner, master.

Middle Shoal Reef is very popular among divers of all skill levels. The reason is that this reef has two sides with different dive depths. One is suitable for beginners (depth of 30 feet) and the other (with a depth of about 90 feet) for more experienced scuba divers. While diving in shallow depths, you can observe lobsters, starfish, stingrays, and admire sea fans, beautifully colored corals, and barrel-shaped sponges around the reef. Divers who dive in deeper water will be able to see turtles, various species of fish, and barracuda. In addition, there are many tunnels and caves to explore the depths, as well as the wreckage of a light aircraft. Care must be taken in this area as there is a cliff of up to 200 feet.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 90 feet.
  • Who can be seen: squirrel fish, blue chromis, creole wrens, turtles, sea slugs, nurse sharks, barracuda.

2.The Throne Room:

  1. Location: Negril.
  2. Available from: Beaches Negril, Sandals Negril.
  3. Dive level: beginner.

The Throne Room is recognized as the best place to dive in Negril because of its unique coral formations and marine life. Many divers are mesmerized by the light in the underwater cave, the contrast between light and darkness (at a depth of about 60-70 feet). It should be noted that the walls of an unusual cave are covered with sponges of different colors, and the bottom of the shallow sediment. You can get amazingly beautiful pictures in this place.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 70 feet.
  • Who can be seen: eels, barracudas, yellowtail lucians, stingrays, octopus, yellow sponges, sometimes nurse sharks and dolphins.

3.Widowmaker’s Cave:

  1. Location: Montego Bay.
  2. Available from: Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean.
  3. Dive level: advanced.

Widowmaker’s Cave is one of Montego Bay’s popular diving spots. The most amazing thing is that snorkelers have the opportunity to explore the cave from two different locations: from above, that is, through a hole in the reef, or from the bottom. No matter where you start, the main thing is that moving forward, it is possible to see all the attractions of Widowmaker’s Cave: unusual soft corals, black corals on the walls, as well as a variety of sea creatures.

By the way, do not be afraid of the name of this place, as it is not lethal at all. The name Widowmaker’s Cave has a very interesting history, associated with the popular novel about James Bond.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 80 feet.
  • Who can be seen: parrotfish, clownfish, barracuda and others.

4.SS Kathryn Wreck (Kathryn Caverns):

  1. Location: Ocho Rios.
  2. Available from: Beaches Ochi, Sandals Ochi, Sandals Royal Plantation.
  3. Dive level: beginner.

Kathryn Caverns is on the list of the best dive sites in Jamaica (near the coast of Ocho Rios). During World War II, a method of destroying mines by undermining them was developed, which was called combat trawling. For this purpose warships (minesweepers) were used. The 120-foot SS Kathryn was one of these ships. It was intentionally submerged as early as the 1980s at a depth of 50 feet to create an artificial reef. It took a few decades, but now divers have the opportunity to see not only sea creatures, but also unusual corals, barrel-shaped sponges and sea fans while diving.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 50 feet.
  • Who can be seen: lobsters, stingrays, eels, sea snakes, lucians, ginglimostomatous sharks, scallops, lobsters.

5.The Arches:

  1. Location: Negril.
  2. Available from: Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals Montego Bay.
  3. Dive level: advanced.

The Arches is located on the north coast of Jamaica and is a dream destination for many divers. The Arches consists of two caves that are connected by a tunnel, home to purple and yellow rayfishes called basslets. They literally line the substrate and are upside down on the ceilings. Also a plane that was intentionally submerged many years ago is interesting to explore in this location. Today it is covered with corals of extraordinary beauty.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 45 feet.
  • Who can be seen: nurse sharks, stingrays, Creole wrasse, trumpet fish, ray fish and others.

6.Surprise Reef:

  1. Location: Negril.
  2. Available from: Beaches Negril, Sandal Negril.
  3. Dive level: beginner.

Surprise Reef is one of those dive spots in Jamaica that is good for beginners (both adults and children). The average depth of this reef is 30 feet. The name of this place is very symbolic, as you can find various sea creatures ranging from schools of small fish to turtles while snorkeling here. Surprise Reef is recommended from July to September.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 70 feet.
  • Who can be seen: turtles, spotted fish, parrot fish, nurse sharks, schools of blue chromis.

7.Alligator Reef:

  1. Location: Negril.
  2. Immersion level: different.

No matter how long you’ve been diving or what your dive level is, Alligator Reef is suitable for all snorkelers. Five different canyons at varying depths can be explored here, as the vast reef stretches from 65 to 100 feet. Not only will you see the unusual inhabitants of the underwater world, but also numerous corals of bright colors, black corals, gorgonaria, and sponges.

Keep in mind that diving at Alligator Reef is always in demand, so when you arrive in Jamaica, it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 100 feet.
  • Who can be seen: barracuda, shovelfish, territorial sea spinners, eagle stingray, various species of reef fish, moray eels, turtles.

8.Frenchman Hole:

  1. Location: Negril.
  2. Available from: Beaches Negril, Sandals Negril.
  3. Dive level: advanced.

Frenchman Hole is a dive spot in Jamaica that is close to the beach in Negril and is easily accessible thanks to the extended cave entrance. There is low current and good visibility, so scuba divers will be able to view varieties of sponges (mostly barrel and vase), black corals, and many sea creatures.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 70 feet.
  • Who can be seen: sea bass, moray eels, manatees, hammerhead and nurse sharks, bluehead wrasse, whales and larger shark species (in some areas during migration season).

9.The Sunken City of Port Royal:

  1. Location: Port Royal.
  2. Dive level: advanced.

The partially sunken city of Port Royal has a rather rich history because the area was once home to pirates. It is known that in 1692 there was a strong earthquake in this part of the island, which made part of the city (about two-thirds) sink into the sea. More than one generation has studied these places, archaeological research continues in our time. People extract various objects from the Sunken City, which become exhibits in the Museum of History and Ethnography.

Divers who want to see The Sunken City of Port Royal with their own eyes should definitely get official permission from the Jamaican government to dive in this area or contact a licensed diving company.

Don’t miss the unique opportunity to see 17th-century architecture as well as view marine life and many reefs at depths of up to 65 feet.

  • Maximum immersion depth: 65 feet.
  • Who can be seen: shoals of blue and brown chromis, common abudefduf (also known as sergeant major fish), turtles and many other sea creatures.

10.Devil’s Reef:

  1. Location: Ocho Rios.
  2. Available from: Sandals Ochi, Sandals Royal Plantation.
  3. Immersion level: intermediate and advanced.

Devil’s Reef is located in a protected area a few minutes from the resort of Ocho Rios. You can get to the dive site by boat. While snorkeling, you will find an underwater ridge with prominent staghorn corals, gorgonians and black sponges (especially enjoyed by those with a passion for micro and macro photography), and see many unusual sea creatures.

  • Maximum immersion depth: more than 100 feet.
  • Who can be seen: eels, nurse sharks, Atlantic spadefish, turtles, morays, shrimp with red and white stripes.

The best time to dive in Jamaica

Jamaica, like most other Caribbean islands, has almost always good weather. This is why it is one of the popular places for year-round scuba diving.

The best time to dive in Jamaica is still from June to September (the warmest months). The average daytime air temperature is 89 °F and the water temperature ranges from 80 °F to 86 °F (diving skins or 3mm thick wetsuits are great for this temperature). There are no storms at this time, therefore the water surface is calm and visibility is better (up to 100 feet).

Jamaica has many dive clubs as well as dive centers that offer all levels and types of diving certificates. The courses are first taught at specific sites, followed by dive practice in the most unusual places, from underwater caves to sunken ships.

The main conditions for diving are good physical health and self-confidence. The first dive can of course be frightening for many people, but it is important to breathe naturally and not to panic in any way. We recommend that all those who wish to dive, contact only certified instructors who will teach you what they know and will always help.

We present you a list of popular dive clubs and dive centers in Jamaica, where you can get diving training from professionals.






Montego Bay

 – Training.

 – Rental equipment.


Dive Seaworld Montego Bay

 – Training.

 – Organizing diving safaris.

 – Equipment rental and sale.

 – Own dive boat.


Jamaqua Dive Center

Ranaway Bay

 – Training.

 – Rental equipment.


Marine Life Divers


 – Training.

 – Equipment sale.

 – Organizing diving safaris.


Negril Scuba Centre

Negril  – Training.


Resort Divers

Ranaway Bay

 – Training.

 – Organizing diving safaris.


‎Sandals Negril  – Training.


ScubaCaribe Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios  – Training.


ScubaCaribe Riu Tropical Bay Negril

 – Training.

 – Rental equipment.


Sundivers Negril

 – Training.

 – Organizing diving safaris.

Useful information for those going scuba diving in Jamaica

  • The diving season in Jamaica is year-round, but the summer period is the most popular and recommended because the sea is calm during this time compared to the winter months.

  1. Water temperatures are 80 °F to 86 °F.
  2. In the summer and 77 °F to 82 °F in the winter.

  • Off-season for diving: none.
  • Maximum dive depth: about 100 feet.
  • Diving at night is practiced in Jamaica.
  • When diving, you are not allowed to take any animals from the bottom and take them for yourself (this is the law of the island).
  • The presence of currents in the sea: calm warm currents.
  • The average cost of diving in Jamaica (the price usually includes boat, captain and guide; rental equipment and other services are paid separately): one dive from shore – from $46, two dives from shore – from $85, two dives from a dive boat – from $97, diving at night – from $80.